On April 1, 2022, the independent pop/rock duo Summit released their first single, “Wait Forever.”
Noah Doner, an Oklahoma Christian University electrical engineering major, makes up half of the group and plays the keyboards and bass. Andrew Roberts, a friend of Doner’s since elementary school, makes up the second half, providing lead vocals and guitar.
The Talon’s Dominic Bonocore sat down with both band members to ask them about the song, music inspirations and the future of the group.
What was the inspiration behind the band name Summit?
Roberts: “The band name was tough. For a while, we couldn’t decide on things. We ultimately had to decide and pick something because that was what was keeping us from releasing the song.”
Doner: “We can also have our logo be based on mountains. I think that’d be a cohesive image.”
Roberts: “Yeah, what I thought would be cool is the fact that the name could make cool logos and could make cool shirts. That’s one of the things I could see with it.”
When did you start writing and recording “Wait Forever”?
Roberts: “I wrote it in 2019 and we recorded it sometime that spring or summer.”
Doner: “Yes, we started recording it the summer after we graduated (high school).”
Roberts: “It was there and we got most of the song done. Then it just sat for a while because it felt like it was still missing something. In 2021, we got the rest of it recorded. We went back in, changed a couple things, then sent it in to be mixed and mastered.”
Doner: “It’s also worth noting that all the vocals were done in 2019.”
Could you walk me through the process of producing the song?
Doner: “We had a bit of audio equipment I’ve accumulated over the years, so it’s pretty much just my laptop and a Scarlett audio interface with a microphone. We just set it up in the corner of the auditorium at our church and recorded everything there.”
Did the mixing and mastering occur at the church as well?
Roberts: “We did our own mix, but we also sent it to another guy who mixed it for us. Then me and my dad made a few tweaks to it after we got it back. We would like to start figuring out how to do it ourselves. We want to always improve from the last one.”
In terms of musicality, Andrew, the first thing I thought of when I heard the song is [John] Mayer. The bluesy guitar licks in the track were very reminiscent of him. Was Mayer a big inspiration for you?
Roberts: “Mayer is an inspiration in just about everything I do. Yes. He definitely influenced it musically.”
What inspired you to write the lyrics? Do any artists inspire you on that front?
Roberts: “Lyrics are tough for me. I have about 12 or 13 songs written, but there’s only about five of them where I’m actually okay with all the lyrics. I just need to punch up the verses. I can write catchy choruses, but verses are hard. With lyrics, I would like to say John Mayer is a big inspiration, but I’m just not good at writing lyrics. I think Noah could say the same thing. We can pump out music in two minutes, but it was the lyrics that always held us back.”
Doner: “There’s a lot of going over different ideas in order to get something good. Tweaking and throwing stuff out.”
Roberts: “There’s a few songs I wrote during the same time I wrote “Wait Forever” and looking back at them, I’m like ‘oh my gosh.’ That’s the thing, out of all those, “Wait Forever” was the best one. The other ones are not savable.”
Doner: “Whether it’s lyrics, production or individual parts, figuring out ‘when is it good enough’ is tough. If we keep trying to get it perfect, we won’t have another song until 2053.”
Roberts: “Exactly. That’s what I had to keep telling myself. I mean, it’s our first song; if we keep trying to get it better and better, it’s never going to get out there. Yes, we wanted to improve, but there must be a point where you say ‘yeah, I want to get it out.’”
What does the future look like for you?
Roberts: “That’s something we haven’t really talked about too much. We would like to play some shows when we can and get our name out there. After we get all our artist profiles on streaming platforms figured out, we’re going to be pretty diligent about getting our music on curated Spotify playlists, a few here and there, to get publicity. We’re not going to let it sit there, but we’re not going to be like ‘this is 100% our life.’ We’re in college, we have different degrees, and we’ll have to get jobs soon.”
Doner: “Yes, we’d like to get a few more songs finished and then start doing live shows.”
Roberts: “We’re recording a second song now, and our goal is to have that one released by June. Then, we may release one more sometime in the summer, then after that we record two or three more, and create an EP.”